Concealed Carry
Courtesy Galco
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I teach high school English, a profession commonly thought to number among the most touchy-feely. I love books. If that weren’t bad enough, I’m a professional classically trained singer, a first tenor. Yes, the highest male voice. One of a few good (and rare) men, sometimes in tights.

I regularly don a tuxedo and sing the works of the masters with a symphony orchestra, and I often get paid for singing. I occasionally wear a Renaissance costume — tights and all — and sing madrigals.

I’ve been known to shed a tear at the occasional movie. Even during the many years on the police force in my misspent youth, people, upon learning my job, would exclaim in surprise, “You don’t look like a cop!” They couldn’t tell me what a cop looked like, but they were pretty sure it wasn’t me.

Knowing that background, it’s not hard to understand that people are often surprised to learn that I’m also a certified firearm instructor and carry a concealed handgun virtually everywhere. And a spear gun in the shower. OK, I’m exaggerating a little about the spear gun. Maybe.

Springfield Hellcat Benchmade Mini Osborne Bravo Concealment IWB
Dan. Z. for TTAG

This requires explanation, and the occasional trip to the range to introduce a neophyte to the joys and responsibilities of shooting. Those explanations and conversations inspired me to think about why I carry a handgun, and upon occasion, to update and refine those reasons. Occasions like now.

I carry a handgun because:

  • I can’t foresee the future. I carry not for the things I can anticipate, but for the things I can’t.
  • Evil exists and may confront anyone at any time and any place.

  • Self-defense is a God-given, natural, unalienable right.

  • There is no gift as precious as God’s gift of life.

  • To fail to protect that greatest gift devalues all life.

  • My life is worth far more to me, those who love me, and to a just society than the lives of vicious brutes who would take it.

  • The lives of the innocent—friend or stranger—are worth far more to me and to a just society than the lives of vicious brutes who would take them.

  • Three times in my life I have raised my right hand and sworn a solemn oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. I have never betrayed those oaths and never will.

  • The Constitution is only paper, a statement of principles and intentions. When the will wavers and when some wish to change, ignore, or destroy those principles and intentions for light and transient reasons, only the threat and force of arms will suffice to preserve liberty.

  • From time to time, politicians forget their place. The carrying and use of arms by law-abiding citizens helps them, gently, to remember.

  • A handgun is the most convenient, usual, and effective means of self-defense.

  • By carrying my handgun, I honor the foresight and wisdom of the Founders in writing the Second Amendment.

  • Being armed reinforces and upholds the social contract.

Thomas Jefferson
By Rembrandt Peale, Public Domain, Link

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

That’s why we have a Second Amendment, not for hunting, not for self-defense, but to allow the common man — if necessary — to resist a tyrannical government and always to deter tyranny.

  • It demonstrates — day after day — that I am the master of my government, not its slave; that elected officials work for me.
  • I am a free man and no evidence of that fact is more meaningful and convincing than that I own and carry the firearms I prefer.

  • It sorely vexes those who would enslave me — all of us — through tyranny, soft or hard.

  • It reminds them that in America, there are lines no rational, honest politician dares cross.

  • It reminds them that in America, there are lines no irrational, dishonest politician dares cross.

  • It reminds them that every iota of power they possess is on temporary loan from me and every other American.

  • It reminds us all that the whims of the highest politician may not prevail over the Bill of Rights because our will has not and will not flag.

  • It’s the very means by which an oppressed citizenry may force despots to respect the Bill of Rights.

  • Because politicians who harbor tyrannical intentions fear armed citizens like a vampire fears a crucifix. It serves to positively identify those who hide behind spin, teleprompters, and clever lies.

  • Most politicians care about the welfare and continuing existence of individual citizens only in the abstract. Even honorable politicians can do little more than those who only pretend to care.

  • Even in our democracy, tyrants are always present and always waiting for their chance.

Hubert Humphrey
By Yoichi Okamoto (White House photograph) –, Public Domain, Link
  • With this in mind, Hubert Humphrey, one of the most famous and orthodox Democrats of the last century was right — and refreshingly honest and non-partisan — when he said: 

Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. This is not to say that firearms should not be carefully used and that definite safety rules of precaution should not be taught and enforced. But the right of the citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government and one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.

  • I’m old-fashioned enough to think it my duty to protect those who have less ability than mine to protect themselves.
  • I couldn’t live with myself for failing to protect a woman in danger. Call it sexist if you must, but if you’re unarmed and under attack, would you really want to call an unarmed, untrained statist? Would a Pajama Boy save you?

Pajama Boy

  • I know human nature. Like the Shadow, I know what evil lurks in the hearts of men.
  • I know that many criminals experience pangs of conscience. I also know that doesn’t prevent them from being predators, only that it occasionally causes them to feel badly, for a few fleeting seconds, thereafter.
  • I know that sociopaths exist, in greater numbers than most imagine, and that they have no conscience.
  • I know that some people really like hurting others. Rarely does one need to engage in psychological navel gazing to understand the actions of predators. They do it because they want to do it, because they like to do it, and some, because it is an intense sexual thrill.
  • I know that such people are everywhere, and are for most, impossible to pick out from the mass of humankind.
  • I know that such people can be stopped only by the presence of overwhelming and imminent force: the gun.
  • I know that living a virtuous life is no defense against such people.
  • Those who willingly and meekly surrender to criminals surrender more than their valuables. They surrender their dignity and honor. They surrender civilization itself.
  • I know that having a “progressive” political and social philosophy not only is no defense against such people, it actively encourages, helps, even creates them.
  • I know that only bullets will stop some predators. Using reason or empathy on such people is like the cries of a wounded bird to a carnivore.
  • Politicians sometimes speak of “war on crimes.” They have no idea. The streets are the battlefield and whether we like it or not, we are all the combatants.
  • The predators who would carry that battlefield into our homes are usually the most dangerous of all.
  • The police have no legal obligation to protect me — or anyone else.
  • The police simply can’t protect anyone; there are far too few of them and far too many of us.
  • When seconds count, the police are always minutes (or in some places an hour or more) away.
  • I accept personal responsibility and live accordingly.
  • As an adult, I’m solely responsible for my continuing existence.
  • As an adult, I’m also responsible for the continuing existence of my family.
  • Accepting personal responsibility encourages me to be continually aware of my surroundings, to be tactically, situationally aware.
  • Having situational awareness makes it more likely I won’t ever need to use my handgun.
  • My training and experience give me confidence that if I do need it, I will use it effectively and properly, though I will always pray to be fast and accurate.
  • It gives me the ability to deter those younger, stronger, faster, or more numerous than myself.
  • It gives me the ability to defeat those younger, stronger or more numerous than myself if they are too stupid, too drugged, or too predatory to be deterred.
  • I know that criminals fear the guns of armed citizens far more than they do the guns of the police. They should.
  • Domestic terrorists and murderers have always been with us. The victims and survivors of Columbine High School, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, the Boston Marathon attack — and I — have no doubt of this.
  • In almost every school shooting in recent American history, the police played virtually no role in stopping the killers.
  • There are still uniquely deranged, blood-thirsty terrorists determined to slaughter Americans on American soil.
  • I have no doubt that terrorists — Islamists and others — are waiting for their chance again on American soil. I have no doubt they will walk over our open borders.
  • I frequent the places (schools, theaters, shopping malls, grocery stores and other soft targets) terrorists long to attack.
  • I can imagine few feelings worse than being unarmed when and where a terrorist attack takes place.
  • Even unarmed, I would have no option but to attack armed terrorists shooting innocents.
  • Armed, I would be able to save at least some lives and stop at least some killers.
  • I could not bear the thought that I was less prepared than the Boy Scouts dictate—in any situation.
  • It’s important to me to know that I can make a real difference when it most matters.
  • I appreciate well-designed and made devices.
gun review new model colt python 3" .357 revolver
  • Guns are like fire extinguishers. When one is needed, it’s needed right now, badly, and nothing else will do.
  • The discipline of the owning and carrying the gun helps make me a better, more aware and more effective person.
  • Thomas Jefferson was also right when, in 1785, he advised his 15-year-old nephew and ward:

A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind.

  • Shooting and being a part of the “gun culture” is uplifting and simply fun.
  • I recognize that I am the weapon. My handgun is simply a tool.
  • Everyone who carries a handgun without incident, every day, makes a stronger legal and political case for fully honoring the intent of the Founders and expanding Second Amendment freedoms.
  • The mark of civilization is not what a man or a people are willing to say about it, but what they are willing and able to do to defend it.
  • The battle for liberty never ends. I’ll do my part, symbolically, and if necessary, in fact.
  • I am, foremost, an American. I’m a free man…it is my tradition and heritage.
  • As an American, I do it for no reason other than I want to and I can.


Mike McDaniel blogs at Stately McDaniel Manor

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    • It’s simple for me. I carry a spare tire in my car in case I need it. The same for my gun. But whatever reason you have, ALWAYS be ready. Criminals and crazies don’t make appointments.

  1. All well and good…..but you only need two reasons, 1. Because you want to. 2. Because you can.

    • This one stands out for me:

      “I recognize that I am the weapon. My handgun is simply a tool.”

      Absolutely correct. Take away my gun, and I’ll continue to defend myself and my loved ones ferociously with whatever is available to me.

  2. In 2021 there were 2.590 children’s deaths from guns and almost 49,000 total gun deaths in the U.S. proving that more guns does not make us safer. In fact concealed and open carry cause more deaths than they save. Civilized nations have outlawed concealed and open carry for this very reason.

    • How is it that you’re capable of breathing without being reminded? You are the biggest dullard ever.

      • Hehehe jwm…I love telling these mouth breathers they are so lucky that they don’t have to remember how to breathe…. left foot right foot suck in air step repeat.

        • “remember how to breathe…. left foot right foot suck in air step repeat“

          Looks like you forgot to exhale, y’all can’t even get breathing right. I guess the oxygen deprivation explains the Trump votes.

        • MINOR Miner49er. Nah, but your inability to get your breathing right explains why you are a Leftist. It’s called oxygen deprivation alright, a Leftist malady.
          But you also suffer from terminal stupidity.

    • @dacian And 250,000 killed by doctors each year, by negligence incompetence or intentionally, many of which might have might have been avoided if doctors didn’t have Constitutional right to “practice” medicine. Oh wait, they don’t unlike citizens who do have a Constitutional right to carry a firearm.

    • Most of those deaths would likely have never happened if it were not for all the far left wing lunacy. Which is also responsible for most of the firearm ignorance that’s out there.

    • First of all, eliminate the suicides. That’s 2/3 of your “gun deaths” gone. If they didn’t have a gun they would hang themselves, slit their wrists, swallow a bottle of pills or drive their car into something strong and stationary.

      2nd, a vast majority of those “children” were 17-19 year old black male gang members and professional criminals killed because they are part of a culture of violence that has nothing to do with all of the people you want to disarm. In fact we need to remain armed to defend ourselves from these young black super predators (as Hillary so accurately called them).

      Of the remaining adult deaths, how many of those people were killed by young black men? Answer; almost all. Meanwhile, a sh!tl0ad of us old white guys didn’t kill anyone at all, ever. So guns are not the problem, young black men are. Enact some young black men control.

      • Fuzxy Bunny Slippers:

        Well said. What else could we expect from “Dacian,” he had to protect his pets ie. members of a “failed race” a race where according to government statistics, 80% have no father in the home, 79%+ are born out-of-wedlock, 80%+ never reach the level of competence to graduate high school and are just handed a diploma to get them out of the educational system, and where 78% of the males (notice I didn’t call them “men” because they aren’t) ages 18-40 are on parole/probation or in jail (awaiting trial), free on (un)supervised pretrial release, or in prison serving time for their most recent offense.

        • Sparkie, you can call it any old thing you want. Let me ask you, is it “racism” when you point out failings of one group or another? Or is is being honest?

    • dacian, the DUNDERHEAD Your stats from Pew, don’t prove jack diffely! The fact is that close to a million times a year a good guy with a gun takes out a bad guy with a gun or other weapon. That means each time a good guy takes out the bad guy, a life is saved. The good guys. Of course that is inconsequential to you Lefties.
      And those 49,000 deaths you cite include suicides of which account for 56% of those deaths. That’s 26,328 lives taken by suicide. That is more than half.
      You sure do like to inflate figures, don’t you?

      • “The fact is that close to a million times a year a good guy with a gun takes out a bad guy with a gun or other weapon“

        Still pushing rope on those stats?

        So you’re saying a good guy with a gun takes out a bad guy 1 million times each year?

        You know, the number of deaths from firearms is a publicly available number that is nowhere near 1 million as your claim, right?

        • MINOR Miner49er. The US is the ONLY country that includes suicides in its gun deaths numbers, did you know that? I am not pushing those “stats”; they are fact. I did not say that the number of gun deaths were near a million. I did say that close to a million times a good guy with a gun stopped the bad guy.
          Is reading comprehension one of your weak points?

    • Actually that’s incorrect, the U.S. is the only country that includes suicides in their total firearms deaths, when you remove them the U.S. is comparable with other countries.
      Their was a time before we commentated on a subject we would take the time to research the subject before regurgitating the liberal news bites day after day.

    • Another dishonest argument filled lies, dkewed and misattributed data presented as “facts” by TTAG’s resident Sorosian scribe. He intentionally neglects to mention that 2,560 of those “children” are actually teenagers who belong to the illiterate, highly confrontational, emotionally undeveloped, violence-prone community that compomises 13% of our population and that 44,000+ of the overall gun death are suicides which is now “legal” in some states (thanks to Democrats) ie. people who would’ve “offed” themselves in other ways like overdosing on pills, standing in front of a train, jumping off a bridge or paying a Kevorkian-like hitman (“doctor”) to administer life-ending drugs.

      • I meant to say “comprises” dammit and left out “dysfunctional” too when describing the teenagers.

    • That’s nice little dacian. Now, can you recite how many people died due to physician’s negligence and malpractice in the same time period?

  3. I have to confess, it has nothing to do with that I’m a trained martial artist, a pilot in both rotor-craft and fixed wing, a retired professional mechanic and actor. Yes I’m a professional featured Zombie among other rolls. I’ve been shot multiple times on screen stabbed and choked out. I die really good.
    Here’s the reason I carry, I’m COMPENSATING!!

  4. 1 reason: Because I wanna, and I’m a free man.

    “I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.” Heinlein

  5. #74: ‘dacians’ and the rest of the liberal left wing…just mental illness waiting to explode in violence.

    • He openly fantasized about the Capitol police using automatic weapons to gun down unarmed protesters. That tells you everything you need to know about those people.

  6. Because certain people, some of whom are employed by the Federal government, have stated they want to materially harm and even kill me because of my skin color and cultural and ethnic heritage. When people say they want to kill me, I take them seriously.

  7. I can imagine some symphony sophisticates view the well rounded writer as a ghastly misfit.

  8. The Vermont Man Who Will Be Held in State Prison Until His Range is Destroyed.

      • Farmers? The interview talks about a city. I don’t know of a lot farms in cities. Maybe you got that wrong too? Is it true that you suffer from diarrhea of the mouth and constipation of the brain?

        • There are two stories here about bad neighbors, the first discusses an urban situation while the second story concerns the Vermont issue.

          One may read the transcript or listen to the audio of the story.

          You might actually have to invest a few minutes learning about the details of the situation before forming an opinion. I know this is a new idea for you but it will certainly lead to a better understanding of the issues.

        • MINOR Miner49er. you might want to take your own advice. Again, you just can’t fix stupid. Neither of these “stories” are even germain to the subject.

  9. Ban assault scooters now!

    “Mass scooter shooter” triggers scooter control debate.

  10. His reasons are fine, but I see them as mere justifications. Nothing wrong with any of them, and I have a few of my own, but bottom line I see myself as a free and independent person and I choose to go armed. That is all that is required.

  11. I am now 73. I waited all my life to legally carry a firearm without a permission slip. Now i carry everyday and love freedom even more.

  12. Since I am out here on the farm I carry a weapon to deal with critters I need removed from my lands. Coyotes, snakes, hogs, raccoons, and the occasional Virginia Opossum. Sorry Possum, hope they’re not close relatives.
    When I go into town for whatever reasons, I carry because I can. Sorry, but there are and always have been 2 legged predators and those with no respect for basic civil behavior.
    While I understand in the abstract the views of holding government accountable by threat of force, I hope we never have to do so. No one wins a civil war. Only survives it.
    Those whining and crying about how bad guns are or how history has treated their ancestors, or whatever, need to take an honest look at the who and why of both the policies and people involved in history, and of the politics, party, and policies behind todays problems. While we get blamed for it, it hasn’t been the conservatives or the Republicans running those shit shows. Break down traditional family structures, demonize law enforcement, claim victimhood for your own poor decisions, encourage immoral behaviors, and fail to admit minor problems until they spiral out of control. Then look for someone else to blame and look for inanimate objects to use as scapegoats.
    Then wonder why so many have decided being armed, and carrying a weapon might be the better option.

  13. I really dont think our government/politicians fear We The People having weapons. If they really did they would take them away, constitution or warrior be damned.
    Oh, but the Taliban, Vietnamese, whoever, held the U.S. back. Well they did and that’s only because Jolly Green was shackled. If .gov wants it, really wants it, they can and will take it.
    You cant shute a virus and an AR15 doesn’t match a lazer beam from space.

  14. Great, now I gotta add a tactical mirror to my edc to reflect deadly space laser blasts.


  16. If you’re attacked in front of Pajama Boy you’re gonna get a lecture on ACA compliant health insurance.

    So, if you see him, and you happen to get attacked, pray for death.

  17. What complete and utter bollocks.
    And I do not make an exception because you are an all-singing all dancing bloody moron
    As an ex-Police Officer you know very well indeed that by carrying a bloody side arm you INCREASE by a considerable fact of getting yourself killed in a FIREARMS incident unless that is you always go around locked loaded and IN HAND – just like a Police Officer. I trained hundreds as a SMALLARMS Instructor in the Royal Air Force and by the way the ARMED POLICE UNIT in my Local County and know of what I speak.
    You know that is you arecarrying -or wahtever the current expression is and a bad guy or gal has a bloody gun at your head YOU GIVE him or her you bloody wallet pronto. To do otherwise is to turn an incident whereby YOUR DEATH is not the initial intent [because if it was you’d already be a case for the morgue] into one where your death most certainly is – Those bad guys and gals have just as developed a survival instict as you do.
    The fact is that 99.99% of all those idiots carrying hand guns in the USA will NEVER ever use them even when threatened. Percentage wise in in the VAST MAJORITY OF mass shootings THERE must be several ‘carriers’ within shooting range so how come every bugger waits around for the Police to show up GUNS IN HAND.
    The Whole SELF PROTECTION thing is nothing more that one gigantic and CORRUPT MARKETING PLOY by the USA Firearms Industry
    Even if that were NOT so nobody needs for any legitimate purpose, including any perception of ‘SELF DEFENCE, anything more that a decent 9mm Self Loader and nobody needs, for any legitimate purpose anything more than a decent X5 shot BOLT ACTION RIFLE of a suitable Calibre and no body needs to hold more than a couple of dozen rounds for either Childish ‘WANT’S’ for boys [and gals] toys and being bamboozled by the firearms industry is quite another matter. Give me a decent BROWNING 9mm Hi-Power and a LEE-ENFIELD .303 No4 MK2* or a near equivalent and you can stuff the rest where the sun don’t shine.

    • “The fact is that 99.99% of all those idiots carrying hand guns in the USA will NEVER ever use them even when threatened.”

      No, Albert, that’s a lie. The fact is that of armed citizens in the US polled in 2021 — 31.1% said that they had used their firearm in self defense at least once “even if it was not fired or displayed.”

      The best estimates are that guns are used to deter or thwart crime between 500,000 and 2.8 million times per year, but the more likely answer is probably somewhere in the middle. A 2021 survey estimated that guns are used 1.67 million times per year in self defense in the United States.

      “Childish ‘WANT’S’ for boys [and gals] toys and being bamboozled by the firearms industry is quite another matter.”

      Law-abiding Americans can own any number of numerous types of firearms for a variety of purposes, including thousands of rounds of ammunition for those weapons. As far as the rantings of a British subject who cannot grasp the American concepts of freedom and RTKBA — “you can stuff the rest where the sun don’t shine.”

      And I mean that sincerely.

      • Perhaps you should live over here for awhile to experience what Liberty is and how we fight daily for self governance instead of being at the mercy of elected politicians who care little for anyone but themselves.

    • Albert L J Hall. Pure unadulterated BULL SHIT! I’ve carried a gun for some 50+ years and have never (thank God) been involved in a gun fight, let alone even had tp draw my side arm.
      You are so full of donkey dust, you need to clean out your stall.

  18. I carry a gun for one reason, it’s my Right as a God Fearing Individual born in a nation that recognizes that Inalienable Right.
    All the other reasons, are really not needed, and all are conditioned by the Right To Keep and Bear Arms.

  19. never had to use it but at least I had that option. criminals aren’t stupid. They value their life more than yours.

  20. One point of correction which Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Franklin would concur: “ Even in our democracy,” as you mention should be corrected to: “Republic.” There is a vast difference. The Marxocrats are attempting to devalue us to a democracy where majority rules. In a Republic, the rule of law rules.

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